Refried beans, a simple recipe, that only requires a few ingredients. It's a delicious dip, but you can also use it to make all kinds of Mexican dishes.
Refried beans is a classic and a staple dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, but it's also popular in other Latin American countries.
It's an incredibly easy to make recipe and only requires a few ingredients, but it's so flavorful. You just need to sautée the veggies, beans and spices, add some water, cook for a few minutes and mash, that's all.
When I saw the word refried for the first time I thought this recipe wasn't for me, as I try to avoid fried food most of the time, but the beans are not really fried, just sautéed, and you don't need much oil.
If you don't want to use oil, don't worry, I give you an oil-free alternative in the recipe box. Besides, I shared a fat-free refried beans recipe a couple of years ago, but this is a improve version.
How can you use refried beans? It's delicious just by itself, as a dip with some tortillas or tortilla chips. You can also use it to make all kinds of Mexican dishes, like vegan breakfast burritos, vegan tacos, vegan quesadillas, you name it!
ingredients for refried beans
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this refried beans recipe:
- Extra virgin olive oil – I’m Spanish, so I use extra virgin olive oil to cook most of my dishes. However, any type of oil is okay. I always use extra virgin oils when possible because they’re healthier. Use some water or vegetable stock for and oil-free version.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is ideal, but garlic powder will do.
- Onion - I prefer to use fresh onion, but onion powder is a good alternative.
- Pinto beans - Feel free to use any canned beans you want (this recipe is also delicious with black beans), or cook them from scratch.
- Ground cumin.
- Salt – I always use Himalayan pink salt. Any type of salt is okay, though.
- Red pepper flakes – Feel free to use chili powder, fresh chilies, or anything you want to make your refried beans spicy. This is an optional ingredient, so you can omit it if you’re not into spicy food.
- Water - You could add some vegetable stock instead, but I prefer to use water to reduce the amount of sodium in the dish.
how to make refried beans
- Add the oil to a skillet and when it's hot, cook the garlic and onion over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. You can also use some water or vegetable stock instead of the oil.
- Add the beans, ground cumin, salt and red pepper flakes, stir and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water and shmmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mash the beans using a potato masher, a fork or an immersion blender.
- Serve immediately or keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
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- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, optional
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed, see notes
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼ cup water
- Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the garlic and onion over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. If you're oil-free, just use some water or vegetable stock instead of the oil.
- Add the beans and spices (cumin, salt and red pepper flakes), stir and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water and simmer for 5-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Finally, mash the beans using a potato masher, a fork or an immersion blender (my favorite one).
- Serve immediately (I add some chopped fresh cilantro on top) or keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Any type of beans is okay. You can also use 1 and ½ cups of cooked beans (250g), if you don't want to use canned beans.
- If you want to reduce the amount of sodium, just wash really well the canned beans or add less salt.
These beans are delicious and the recipe is so easy! I use them in my tacos or as a spread on bread. Quick and nutritious . Thanks so much Iosune, another winning recipe!
Hi Donna! You're so welcome 🙂 SO glad you liked it!
Pr Chris Miller says
We LOVE refried beans and usually have some in the refrigerator. We have noticed, however, after 3-4 days, a film starts to cover the surface of the beans. Is this the olive oil continuing to solidify, or is it a mold sort of process? We've been leery about eating them after we notice this. Thanks for your suggestions
Hi! If it tastes and smells good, it's okay 🙂
I love Mexican food and appreciate this easy recipe!
Hi Chris! You're so welcome 🙂 So glad you like it!
Rachel @ Queen Of Constance says
What perfect timing! Tonight I’m making tacos for dinner and this will obviously go with refried beans. Thank you!
Hi Rachel! You're so welcome 🙂 Hope you liked it!